E3 2017: Sony’s PlayLink for PS4 Will Let You Play Games Using Your Phone

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • PlayLink lets you play games on your PS4 via a smartphone
  • Titles vary from crime thrillers to quick-fire quizzes
  • PlayLink titles include That’s You!, Hidden Agenda

At the ongoing E3 2017 in Los Angeles, California, Sony announced some of its most anticipated games for PlayStation for the year including God of War, Spider-Man and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, to name a few. Console titles aside, the company also introduced PlayLink, which allows users to play games with family and friends using their smartphones and tablets.

PlayLink is aimed at creating a fun, interactive way to play games in a social setting. Based on a video Sony released showcasing the feature, PlayLink requires a smartphone or tablet, a TV, and a PlayStation 4 console, which, when set up, lets you and your group of family or friends play interactive PlayLink titles.

“PlayLink games turn your smartphone or tablet into a versatile controller – you can swipe, pinch, drag, tilt, rotate or even snap selfies and draw crafty doodles, depending on the game. No matter which title you choose from our PlayLink collection, it’s guaranteed to be a slick pick-up-and-play experience,” Sony said in a blog post.E3 2017: Sony's PlayLink for PS4 Will Let You Play Games Using Your Phone

PlayLink titles range from crime thrillers to quick-fire quizzes. In one of the videos, for example, you see a group of people playing That’s You! – a quiz-based app that “challenges you and up to five friends to get personal and find out what you really think about each other.” This will be one of the first titles for PlayLink and will be available for PlayStation Plus members for free starting July 4.

Another video shows a crime and narrative-based game called Hidden Agenda that allows up to six people to join in. The game requires the players to make tough, quick decisions as the story progresses, which will also influence the way the game moves forward.

Sony sees PlayLink as something that can come in handy during social gatherings as well as rope in new players to video games. It also reminds one of Jackbox Games’ Party Pack multi-platform social games. Some other PlayLink titles that can be expected soon include Knowledge is Power, Frantic, and SingStar Celebration.

 

Akitio Node Cabinet review: Real, affordable graphics for your laptop

 

The Akitio Node external GPU cabinet is here to give your Thunderbolt 3-equipped laptop a big boost. This affordable unit—basically, a big steel box with a 400-watt PSU and a fan in front—lets you drop in most modern AMD or Nvidia graphics cards and then connect it to a laptop using PCIe over Thunderbolt 3/USB-C.

dsc04540

Gordon Mah Ung

The Akitio features one fan for the PSU, and one in front that offers plenty of airflow.

For the most part, when it works, it’s amazingly smooth. For example, we cracked open the Node, dropped in a Founders Edition GeForce GTX 1080 Ti card, then plugged it into a HP Spectre x360 13t. Once we had the latest drivers installed from Nvidia’s website, we were off and running. As these results from 3DMark FireStrike Ultra show, the tiny HP Ultrabook gives what-for to big, giant, fast gaming laptops.

spectre x360 egpu 1080 ti firestrike ultra overall

IDG

Yes, a sub-3lbs. laptop can hang with big fat gaming laptops–if you cheat like we did.

The score you see above, however, is the overall score for 3DMark FireStrike Ultra, which also counts CPU performance. The dual-core Kaby Lake chip in the tiny HP Spectre x360 13T isn’t going to compete with the quad-cores. In the 3DMark test that includes just the graphics performance, however, you’ll see a better spread from the GTX 1080 in the giant EON17-X laptop.

Yes, there’s a good chance the limited x4 PCIe Gen 3 could rob you of some performance over what you might get if the GPU were in a desktop. In fact, the same GPU will typically score in the 7,000 range when in a full x16 PCIe Gen 3 slot. But just remember: The alternative is being stuck with the integrated graphics in the laptop, unable to game at this higher level of performance.

spectre x360 egpu 1080 ti firestrike ultra graphics

 

How to play PC games on your smartphone?

 

PC games are more resource intensive and take up more space.

Cross-platform gaming is still in a nascent stage. Most attempts at it have been unsuccessful. The few options include the Bluetsacks emulator, which allows Android games on PCs, and Sony’s Play Station Now platform, which can run PS3 games on a Windows PC.

But getting a PC game to run on a smartphone is a different ball game, as PC games are more resource intensive and take up more space.

Cloud gaming companies such as OnLive have tried and failed at it. Now a New York, US-based gaming company LiquidSky has come with a cloud-based app which can run any PC game on your smartphone and surprisingly you don’t need a OnePlus 5-like device to run it.

The minimum system requirement for the smartphone is just 1GB RAM and 30MB of storage. The games will be downloaded on cloud, so you don’t have to worry about the storage on your smartphone at all.

LiquidSky recommends wired controllers for the best gaming experience.LiquidSky recommends wired controllers for the best gaming experience.

Needs steady internet connection

However, it requires an active internet connection with minimum bandwidth speed of 5Mbps and recommended speed of up to 20Mbps for the best gaming experience. Online gaming is not new to the mobile ecosystem. Many Android games require active internet connection to work, however getting the 20Mbps mark consistently is going to be a challenge, especially on mobile networks in India. This makes it heavily dependent on WiFi networks.

How does it work?

Liquid Sky works by connecting smartphones to a virtual PC running on cloud. The actual game will be downloaded and run on a remote server, which will then compress and stream the game on users’ smartphone at frame rate of 60fps.

LiquidSky is available only for Android devices right now.LiquidSky is available only for Android devices right now.

Once users sign up in the app, and take a subscription plan, they can browse and download any games from their existing library of purchased games or buy new ones on Steam, GOG, Origin, Blizzard or Humble Bumble. These are online stores for PC games and their API (application programme interface) is built into the app, so one doesn’t have to download their apps separately.

How much does it cost?

LiquidSky is available only for Android devices right now and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store (there is no news on the iOS app yet). Users in India can download it for free but to access the games, one of the subscriptions is required. Basic Pay-as-you-go plan starts at $9.99 (approximately Rs644) and provides 100GB of storage.

The monthly subscription, which offers 500GB of cloud storage and the option to change data centres, starts at $19.99 (approximately Rs1,289) per month. There is a free model too, with in-app advertisements and 100GB storage, but its only available to users in the US and Canada.PC games are more resource intensive and take up more space.

How is it different?

LiquidSky uses IBM’s public cloud infrastructure which is more robust, easy to scale and has got data centres spread across the globe. One of the reasons for the failure of services such as OnLive was that it used its own servers to host the games and was unable to put up with the cost. Also, they failed to acquire top-tier games form leading game developers such as EA Sports and Activision.

The biggest highlight of Liquid Sky is that you can purchase, download and play any PC game that is available on one of the linked game stores.

Why do you need controllers?

Technically. PC games are not designed for touchscreen devices. You need a controller or a mouse and keyboard to play them. Smartphone users won’t be able to run them through on-screen controls and will require a compatible Android controller, which can be connected to the phone with an OTG cable or wirelessly over Bluetooth. LiquidSky recommends wired controllers for the best gaming experience.

 

Hold onto your Moto Mods dream Motorola held a pitch day for future add ons

 

Motorola hasn’t given up on Moto Mods yet, and the company recently held a pitch day for budding inventors to pitch their best concepts and ideas to a panel of Motorola, Lenovo, and Verizon executives in an effort to secure investment funds for development, via Engadget.

The thirteen ideas are a mix of new, like the extended battery with a solar charger or the LED light ring for notifications, and old, like the physical keyboard mod currently looking for support on Indiegogo.

Motorola, Lenovo, and Verizon picked two mods as the winning concepts for future investing: the DigiFrame, which sticks an e-paper display on the back of the phone in a manner similar to the Yotaphone 2, and the MACAY TrueSound HiFi, which adds both a digital-to-analog converter and an analog-to-digital converter for improved audio input and output on the phone.

All of the various concepts are interesting ideas that speak to how Motorola would like for users to be able to customize their phones with mods on a deeper hardware level than just sticking on a case. And the fact that there are still teams working on more mods to expand the platform isn’t a bad sign for the future of the Moto Mods program, either. But as to whether or not Motorola can succeed with its modular concept where companies like Google and LG have already failed still remains to be seen.

iPhone 8 Design Leaked, Nokia 9 Specifications Revealed, Xiaomi India Mi Home Sales, and More: Your 360 Daily

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • iPhone 8, iPhone 7s Plus, iPhone 7s design leaked
  • Nokia 9 flagship phone’s specifications, design revealed
  • Xiaomi India rakes in Rs. 5 crores in 12 hours via Mi Home

The iPhone 8 rumour mill is in full swing, even though we are at least five months away from the launch. The latest leak suggests that Apple will launch three new iPhones, The latest leak suggests the iPhone 8 will sport a vertical dual camera unit, while the iPhone 7s Plus will continue to have the horizontal dual camera setup; on the other hand, the iPhone 7s will be stuck with the single-camera module, according to the leaked moulds. The expected price of the iPhone 8 is over $1,000 (roughly Rs. 65,000) and that could explain why Apple may try to change things around and sell three iPhones instead of one. Whether you believe these rumours or not, there’s no smoke without fire so it is likely that Apple may change things around this year.

Here’s what else made news in the world of technology.

Nokia 9 spotted in leaked images
Nokia is far from done with smartphones. The company already has Nokia 3310 in the market, and Nokia 3, Nokia 5, and Nokia 6 are expected to launch soon. Now the company may be planning to launch another smartphone called the Nokia 9. This new Nokia 9 leak shows live images of the smartphone, showing dual camera setup, USB Type-C port, 3.5mm earphone jack, and antenna lines. Other Nokia 9 specifications leaked in the images include a 5.3-inch display QHD display, Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB RAM, and Android 7.1.1 out of the box; notably the leak does not rule out a 6GB RAM variant of the phone.

Xiaomi’s first store in India’s a hit
Xiaomi recently launched the Mi Home offline store in Bengaluru and it’s no surprise that the store is already a big hit. The company announced that the Mi Home store raked in Rs. 5 crores in revenue in the first 12 hours of opening. That’s great news for the largely online-only brand in India, and hopefully for people who want to buy its products – there will be more options now. The figure was largely attributed to sales of Redmi 4, Redmi 4A, and Redmi Note 4, along with Xiaomi audio accessories, Mi VR Play, Mi Router 3C, Mi Band 2, and Mi Air Purifier 2iPhone 8 Design Leaked, Nokia 9 Specifications Revealed, Xiaomi India Mi Home Sales, and More: Your 360 Daily

Tesla Model 3 India launch delayed?
The Tesla Model 3 is the company’s most affordable electric car but it may not come to India anytime soon. Even though Tesla CEO Elon Musk had hoped to launch the Tesla Model 3 electric car in India in 2017, it appears that the plan may not work out. The Tesla CEO tweeted, “Maybe I’m misinformed, but I was told that 30 percent of parts must be locally sourced and the supply doesn’t yet exist in India to support that.” If you were hoping to buy it soon, then prepare to revise your expectations.
Tejas Express with Wi-Fi sets off on first journey
Tejas Express has become the fastest train in India at a top speed of 200kmph, faster than the Shatabdi Express, but that’s not the only interesting feature of the train. It will have Wi-Fi, an infotainment system, LED TVs, among other things. The doors of this train are centrally controlled as well. We’ve got a full list of all the high-tech stuff this train has, in our in-depth article.

Government wants your views on Bitcoin
Bitcoin may be in a regulatory grey area right now, but the government plans to change that. The government has sought public opinion on the currency before it decides whether virtual currencies are viable in India. The government wants your suggestions on this topic via its MyGov platform, which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014.

A More dangerous variant of WannaCry ransomware found
Thought WannaCry ransomware was bad? Wait till you hear about EternalRocks, a much more dangerous variant of WannaCry. This one is a lot stronger than WannaCry because it doesn’t have any weaknesses, including the kill switch that a researcher used to help contain the ransomware.. Let’s hope EternalRocks doesn’t infect our computers as it’s going to be a lot harder to get rid of.

Nubia N1 lite launched in India
Nubia India has launched the N1 lite smartphone in India at Rs. 6,999. It runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow out-of-the-box and sports a 5.5-inch display. The new Nubia N1 lite smartphone is powered by a 64-bit 1.25GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6737 processor, and comes with 2GB of RAM. Nubia N1 lite sports an 8-megapixel rear camera with an f/2.0 aperture tagged with dual-LED flash and a 5-megapixel camera at front with soft-light flash support.

More details on Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) and Moto Z2 Play
Samsung’s popular J-series smartphones, the Galaxy J5 (2016) and Galaxy J7 (2016), may soon get successors. The Galaxy J7 (2017) has now been spotted in a leaked render. It shows a design refresh on its back panel. Once you’ve checked that out, you might be interested in knowing that Lenovo has confirmed the 3000mAh battery capacity of the upcoming Moto Z2 Play smartphone, making it smaller than the 3510mAh battery of the original Moto Z Play.

OnePlus 5 leaks hint at camera, audio details
Like you, we’ve been speculating on what the OnePlus 5 smartphone needs to beat flagships. OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei may have revealed whether the upcoming smartphone has a headphone jack. In another OnePlus 5 leak, we got to know more about the smartphone’s dual-camera setup, which has been a point of contention considering some reports suggest a horizontal dual camera setup, while others point at vertical alignment of the camera module.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.
Tags: OnePlus, OnePlus 5, Android, Google, Apple, iPhone, iPhone 8, iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus, Tesla, Tesla Model 3, Tejas, Bitcoin, WannaCry, EternalRocks, Nokia, Xiaomi

 

BlackBerry’s Privacy Shade App Prevents Bystanders From Peeking Into Your Phone

 

HIGHLIGHTS
Privacy Shade app is only available for BlackBerry users
It helps in avoiding others from snooping into your phone
The app darkens entire screen except for a small view area
While laptop makers have introduced several workarounds to avoid nosy eyes from peeking from behind, smartphones haven’t really been able to address that pain point. Users, especially with large smartphone screens, have always found people (particularly the nosy ones) leaning over to read that personal text or see what you’re browsing. BlackBerry is trying to address this woe by launching an app called Privacy Shade.BlackBerry's Privacy Shade App Prevents Bystanders From Peeking Into Your Phone

The Android app makes the entire screen dark, except for a small view area that can be moved around to what you really want to read on the screen. The viewing area can change shapes from a bar to a circle, depending on what you prefer. Furthermore, the transparency of the darkened screen can also be manually adjusted, so for those who are extra paranoid, they could maximise the shade to near opaque for optimal privacy.
It is worth noting that this app is only available only to BlackBerry devices, so not all users will be able to take advantage of the nifty app. You can check if you own a compatible Blackberry device by trying to download it from the Google Play Store, or you can also sideload it from APK Mirror. Downloading from APK Mirror doesn’t lift the restriction limit of BlackBerry devices, Android Police reports.

BB Merah Putih, the company that currently holds the right to manufacture and sell BlackBerry smartphones in Indonesia, recently launched the BlackBerry Aurora smartphone for the country. The dual-SIM (Micro-SIM) based BlackBerry Aurora runs Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box and sports a 5.5-inch (720×1280 pixels) display. It is priced at IDR 3,499,000 (roughly Rs. 17,400) in Indonesia.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.
Tags: Privacy Shade App, Blackberry, Apps, Android, Privacy Shade

 

Nokia 3, 5, 6 India Launch Date, Moto C Comes to India, and OnePlus 5 Design: Your 360 Daily

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Nokia 3, 5, 6 to launch in India soon
  • Moto C launched in India; Moto G5, G5 Plus will now be available offline
  • OnePlus 5 slimmest flagship yet?

Nokia is all set to launch the Nokia 3, 5 and 6 in India. HMD Global on Friday sent out press invites for a Nokia event in India on June 13. These three phones were launched globally in Barcelona earlier this year. The Nokia 6 and the Nokia 5 are powered by octa core Snapdragon 430 processor, have fingerprint scanners below the display. The Nokia 6 has 3GB RAM with 32GB of storage while the Nokia 5 has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. The Nokia 3 is a budget handset, it is smaller in size and sadly misses out on a fingerprint sensor. It is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek 6737 SoC, 16GB internal storage, and runs on Android Nougat. All three phones have MicroUSB port for charging and syncing, NFC, 4G with VoLTE support and near stock Android.

Moto C with 4G VoLTE support launched in India; Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus now available via offline retailers in India
Lenovo brand Moto launched the Moto C in India today for a price of Rs 5,999, and it will be available at leading offline retailers across over 100 cities in India. It will be available in Pearl White and Starry Black colour variants in India. The Moto C runs on Android 7.0 Nougat, features a 5-inch display and is powered by a 1.1GHz MediaTek MT6737M quad-core processor with 1GB of RAM. There is 16GB of internal storage that is expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB). The Moto C camera sports a 5-megapixel rear sensor and a 2-megapixel selfie shooter.It sports a 2350mAh removable battery and has a microUSB port at the bottom. The Moto C is a dual SIM 4G phone with VoLTE support.
Moto also announced that the Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus will reach an offline stores. Gadgets 360 has learnt from sources that offline retailers have received stocks of the two phones as well, making them now available online as well as offline. We reached out to Lenovo for a statement regarding the move, and were informed the phones are in stock with select retailers across the country. The Moto G5 Plus was a Flipkart exclusive while the Moto G5 was exclusive to Amazon.

OnePlus 5 teased to be more compact than 3T, pricing information tipped
OnePlus recently asked its users to choose the box design for its upcoming OnePlus 5 smartphone, it has now given users something more to talk about. After revealing that the OnePlus 5 will be “the slimmest flagship”, the company has released a teaser image with a strong hint regarding the form factor of the smartphone. Pan Jiutang, a noted analyst has shared his estimates regarding the pricing of OnePlus 5 to be around CNY 3,000 (roughly Rs. 28,300).

OnePlus 5 is expected to launch soon and will sport a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, bear a front-facing fingerprint sensor, and feature a camera developed in partnership with DxO. The company also teased a camera sample showing excellent low light performance.Nokia 3, 5, 6 India Launch Date, Moto C Comes to India, and OnePlus 5 Design: Your 360 Daily

Nubia Z17 with 8GB RAM, Quick Charge 4 launched
At an event in Beijing, ZTE brand Nubia unveiled the Nubia Z17. The biggest highlights of the smartphone are the dual camera setup at the back, Snapdragon 835 SoC, Android 7.1.1 Nougat, and being the first smartphone with support for Qualcomm’s newly announced Quick Charge 4+. The pricing starts at CNY 2,799 (roughly Rs. 26,400) for the 6GB RAM/ 64 GB variant. There are 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage and 8GB RAM/ 128GB variants that cost CNY 3,399 (roughly Rs. 32,100) and CNY 3,999 (roughly Rs. 37,700) respectively.

The Nubia Z17 features a 5.5-inch full-HD display, and features a dual camera setup with a 23-megapixel and 13-megapixel lens at the back and a 16-megapixel camera at the front. It packs a 3200mAh battery. The all metal Nubia Z17 has no bezels and will be available in Aurora Blue, Black Gold, Obsidian Black, Solar Gold, and Flame Red.

OneLogin password manager reports data breach, potential decryption of customer data
Personal data on the Internet is not as safe as it used to be. OneLogin, a password manager and single sign-on service, is the latest to company to join the list of data breach victims. The company reported an “unauthorised access to OneLogin data in our US data region.” on Wednesday. OneLogin has been unclear as to the nature of the attack, claiming to have found a threat actor who had “obtained access to a set of Amazon Web Services (AWS) keys and used them to access the AWS API from an intermediate host with another, smaller service provider in the US.”

The severity of the breach to consumers is not yet known but the company has stated that the hack allowed the threat actor to access database tables that contain personal information about users, apps, and various types of keys. While the company maintains that it encrypts certain sensitive data, it didn’t rule out the possibility that the ‘malicious actor’ had the ability to decrypt them.

Need for Speed 2017 is Need for Speed Payback; gameplay, characters, and setting revealed
Need for Speed Payback is the official name of Need for Speed 2017. Publisher EA released a trailer showcasing what you can expect when the game hits. Rather than finishing first or being the best, the emphasis might be on playing out an action driving fantasy like Forza Horizon 3 but with a larger narrative.

The three playable characters are Tyler the Racer, Mac the Showman, and Jess the Wheelman – ostensibly named to signify what kind of racing they specialise in. With the objective of rising up the ranks of the underground racing scene, there’s a focus on car customisation and personalisation that EA claims is “the deepest customisation from the series”. Also, like previous EA titles in India, it will be exclusive to Amazon for the PS4 and Xbox One. Despite a PC version being in the works, it will be available via EA’s Origin digital distribution service.

SpaceX ISS cargo launch postponed to Saturday after lightning strike
A lightning strike near Cape Canaveral forced SpaceX to delay its first-ever cargo delivery to astronauts utilising a reused rocked. The lightning did not hit any of SpaceX’s equipment but happened within 10 miles (16 kilometres) of the launch pad. The strike happened about 25 minutes before the scheduled launch at 5:55pm (2155 GMT). “The lightning flight rule requires 30 minutes for you to clear that before it is safe to launch,” NASA spokesman Mike Curie said. The next opportunity for SpaceX’s resupply mission is 5:07pm (2107 GMT) on Saturday (2:37am IST Sunday), and will be broadcasted live on NASA’s website.

The gumdrop-shaped Dragon spaceship has been refurbished, after previously toting food and supplies to the International Space Station in September 2014, and then splashing back down in the ocean intact. Separately, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced his exit from the advisory council of US President Donald Trump, after the latter declared the withdrawal of the US from the Paris Accord for climate change.

Xbox Game Pass goes live; lets you play over 100 Xbox Games at Rs. 699 a month
Microsoft on Thursday finally released the Xbox Game Pass for Xbox One globally. Game Pass is a Netflix-style subscription service and will give you unlimited access to 100 Xbox 360 and Xbox One titles at $10 per month (Rs. 699 in India). The service was first announced earlier this year and has been available to Xbox Live Gold members for a week now.

Microsoft is also offering a 14-day free trial for Xbox One users before going for the paid subscription. Additionally, Xbox Game Pass members will also receive exclusive discounts for games and DLC for Xbox One games included in Xbox Game Pass.

Chrome to get native ad-blocking in early 2018; Google joins Coalition for Better Ads
Google has confirmed that it is planning to introduce native ad-blocking to Chrome browser from early next year. The tech giant also announced that it has joined Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group dedicated to improving online ads. Instead of native ad-blocking, the new feature could be seen as native “ad-filtering” as the search giant will only be removing the ads on the Internet that are non-compliant with ‘Better Ads Standards’. Notably, Google has clarified that it will also be filtering out ads served or owned by the search giant itself if they are found to be beneath the Better Ads Standard.

Facebook albums revamped, now let you collaborate, add check-ins and posts
Facebook is already updating its albums with new features and abilities to make it more interactive and a richer source to go down memory lane. In addition to adding photos and videos to albums, you can now also add status updates, posts, and check-ins for a fuller nostalgic experience when you come back to visit the album later, making it a sort of scrapbook to look back on.

You can also invite friends to add photos and updates to the album. This will allow them to add photos, videos, and posts to the same album for a collaborative effort of creating and keeping a memory stored online forever. The update is rolling out to Android and Web starting today, and is coming soon to iOS users. The report also shared all the features coming with the albums update, and another new feature listed was called Featured Albums. Facebook now has an option to let people showcase their favourite albums right on their Profile, if they want to.

Microsoft Skype redesigned with inspiration from Snapchat
Skype on Thursday announced a major redesign of its mobile app, including a ‘Highlights’ feature that lets users snap photos and videos that will be temporarily visible to their connections. This feature carries a strong resemblance to Snapchat’s ‘Stories.’ The format has been growing in popularity within social and messaging services and has recently been incorporated in WhatsApp and Instagram.

Besides Highlights, the new Skype puts an emphasis on group messaging. Users can react to one another using emoji, they can send messages on top of attractive and colourful backgrounds or they can infuse a chat with content from third-party services, such as animated images from Giphy. The service also features a variety of bots made by Microsoft with the purpose of helping users get more done. This includes Scoop, a bot that can fetch news of interest to an individual, and Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.
Tags: Nokia, Android, Moto C Price in India, OnePlus 5, Nokia 3 Specifications, Nokia 5 Specifications, Nokia 6 Specifications, SpaceX, Need for Speed, Lenovo, Skype, Facebook, Nubia Z17 Price, Quick Charge 4 Plus, Xbox, Google, Chrome, Xbox Game Pass, Elon Musk, Paris accord, 360 Daily

 

Nokia 3 Now Available in India at Your Neighbourhood Retail Store

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Nokia 3 was launched in India earlier this week at Rs. 9,499
  • The phone is exclusively being sold via offline retail channels
  • Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 pre-orders to begin next month

At the start of this week, Nokia launched the Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 Android smartphones in India. At the time of launch, HMD Global said that the Nokia 3 will be available via offline channels from June 16, and as expected, the smartphone is now available via several retailers across the country, a fact that Gadgets 360 has been able to confirm.

Nokia 3 price in India and specifications

Nokia 3 is the cheapest of the three new Nokia Android smartphones by HMD Global, having been priced in India at Rs. 9,499. Vodafone customers will get 5GB data per month at Rs. 149 per month for 3 months on purchase of Nokia 3, as well as vouchers for Rs. 2500 off (Rs. 1800 on hotels & Rs.700 off on domestic flights) on travel website Makemytrip.com.

Nokia 3 has been targeted at those who are looking for a premium-looking handset at a budget. It comes with a polycarbonate body and metallic frame on the sides. For specifications, the Nokia 3 has a 5-inch HD display, Android 7.0 Nougat, 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek 6737 SoC. It comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage, which is expandable up to 128GB via microSD card support. Optics include an 8-megapixel camera on both the front and back. The Nokia 3 packs a 2650mAh battery and measures 143.4×71.4×8.4mm.Nokia 3 Now Available in India at Your Neighbourhood Retail Store

With the Nokia 3 now in stores, the next date to look out for will be July 7, when the Nokia 5 will be available for pre-booking through offline channels. It’s worth noting that the Nokia 5 pre-bookings will be carried out via select mobile retail outlets across Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Indore, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad and Calicut. The Nokia 5 is priced in India at Rs. 12,899. Nokia 6, on the other hand, will be exclusive to Amazon India and will go up for pre-orders from July 14.

The Nokia 5 features a 5.2-inch HD display, Android 7.1.1 Nougat, a Snapdragon 430 processor and 2GB of RAM. It will also have a fingerprint sensor, 16GB inbuilt storage (expandable up to 128GB), a 13-megapixel rear sensor and a 8-megapixel front sensor. Specifications of the Nokia 6 include a Snapdragon 430 SoC, 3GB of RAM, 5.5-inch full-HD display, 3000mAh battery, a 16-megapixel rear camera and a 8-megapixel front camera.

Nokia 3

Nokia 3

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.00-inch

Processor

1.3GHz quad-core

Front Camera

8-megapixel

Resolution

720×1280 pixels

RAM

2GB

OS

Android 7.0

Storage

16GB

Rear Camera

8-megapixel

Battery Capacity

2650mAh

Also See
  • Samsung Galaxy On7 Pro (Gold, 16GB) –
    Rs. 8,690
  • Coolpad Note 5 Lite (Grey, 16GB) – OFFER
    Rs. 8,549
  • Coolpad Note 5 Lite (Space Grey, 32GB) 16GB
    Rs. 8,590

 

Can the OnePlus 5 Be a Good Replacement for Your Google Nexus?

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Nexus users have been short on options for an upgrade
  • The OnePlus 5 is bringing back the midrange flagship
  • It’s also close to stock Android and relatively quick on updates

Google’s Nexus smartphones were known to be the flag bearers of the Android operating system. While they were made by different manufacturers over the years, Googlehad a close eye on the entire process to ensure you got a pure Android experience.

Things changed last year though, when Google decided to launch the Pixel range of smartphones. The introduction of the Pixel and the Pixel XL marked the end of the Nexus lineup, and the higher pricing for the Pixels meant that the stock Android experience was no longer affordable.

That means that if you are a Nexus user, you only had two options for an upgrade – stick to your existing phone for as long as Google supports it, or switch to another brand and live with its version of Android. But if you’re a Nexus user, well, September 2017 is when the company stops pushing Android updates other that security patches for the Nexus 6P and the Nexus 5X.

ALSO SEELife After Google Pixel and Pixel XL: The Nexus Will be Missed

If you have one of those phones then there aren’t too many options available if it’s time to upgrade to a new mid-range flagship. With the launch of the OnePlus 5, there’s another option around now though.

OnePlus5Nexus OnePlus 5 Nexus

The OnePlus 5 is priced at Rs 32,999 for the 6GB/ 64GB version, and Rs. 37,999 for the 8GB/ 128GB version which makes it cheaper than the current Pixels, and in all likelihood cheaper than the upcoming Pixel 2 as well. For that price, you get pretty good hardware with a Snapdragon 835 SoC, which is by far the most powerful processor in Qualcomm’s stable at the moment.

But as a Nexus user, the Android experience and the regular updates have been a big part of the package, apart from the performance, which is an area that the OnePlus 5 does deliver on. So as a Nexus user, how is the experience of moving to the OnePlus 5?

ALSO SEEOnePlus 5 Review: Worth the Upgrade for OnePlus 3T Owners?

The good news is that with Oxygen OS you are getting a UI that is pretty close to stock. You’ll also feel at home with the OnePlus launcher, which looks a lot like the Pixel launcher. Google Assistant is also available right away by long-pressing the fingerprint scanner. In these ways, it’s pretty close to the stock experience, but if you are among the ones who tinker with their phones, the developer community support for OnePlus devices is huge. You would find multiple custom ROMs and tweaks for the OnePlus 5.

In terms of updates, Google would still be the fastest to ship out Android updates to its smartphones but OnePlus isn’t far behind. We have seen that the company could ship out Android updates for the OnePlus 3 and the OnePlus 3T faster than other manufacturers in the market. So you won’t really be missing much if you do think about the OnePlus 5.

 

How to fly with your gadgets

Inflight entertainment is dead. Or is it? It’s long been presumed that tablets and laptops were making seat-back screens on long-haul flights increasingly pointless, but new restrictions announced by the US and UK make flying with gadgets increasingly complex.

For leisure travellers, it’s mostly about keeping a tablet or smartphone charged, and propped up for easy viewing. For business travellers after some productivity at 35,000ft, if a laptop or tablet isn’t allowed, then it’s all about using a smartphone for work. Thankfully, that’s getting much easier, with portable keyboards, portable batteries, props and apps fast making unpredictable gadget bans less of a problem.

Airline restrictions

The recent ban on laptops and tablets on some flights from the Middle East – but also including ereaders, cameras and (rather oddly) ‘travel printers/scanners’ – is actually two bans; the UK is banning them from six countries (Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Lebanon) while the US is banning them from eight countries (Turkey, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates – which means Dubai – Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait), but that’s 10 countries in total. Only Egypt, Turkey, Jordan and Saudi Arabia are banned by both nations.

Why the discrepancies? No-one knows, but we do know that the maximum permitted size of a phone is 16 x 9.3 x 1.5cm / 6.3 x 3.7 x 0.6 inches. It’s the physical dimensions that matter, but for phones that calculates to a screen size of about 7.6 inches, which means almost all smartphones make it – but no tablets.

ALLOWED: iPhone 7 Plus; Samsung Galaxy S7Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

NOT ALLOWED: Nintendo SwitchAmazon Kindle (all models); Microsoft Surface Pro 4New iPad iPad Air 2 iPad Pro iPad Mini 4

So the advice for frequent travellers after productivity while flying? Go for the biggest phone you can afford.

Portable Bluetooth keyboards

Can a keyboard and a phone really work together? You could just purchase the newly announced, massively retro BlackBerry KeyOne Android phone with built-in keyboard, of course, but there are several good quality – and exceptionally travel-friendly – portable keyboards for travellers.

The Kanex MultiSync Foldable Travel Keyboard is an ultra-slim bi-fold that’s ergonomically designed – and easily pocket-sized – just like the Microsoft Universal and the tri-fold Jelly Comb Bluetooth keyboard. Other options include the Ldex Wireless Foldable Portable Bluetooth Keyboard, which is bigger, but adds a shelf for supporting a phone. It’s also worth considering the hugely portable LG Bluetooth Rollable Keyboard, which rolls-up into a stick. The Logitech K480 is also small and versatile.

You don’t have to go ultra-portable and compact if that affects your typing ability (but forget about a mouse – there’s just no room). If you’re going via the Middle East, so not able to travel with a laptop or tablet, you’ve likely got a gap in your carry-on luggage. So why not just bring a wireless keyboard designed for the desktop?

Apple’s classic wireless Magic Keyboard is not exactly huge, though the Apple Smart Keyboard designed for the iPad you just had to check-in might do. Other options include the Lenovo Thinkpad Compact USB KeyboardWacom WKT400 or Logitech K780.

Portable smartphone battery

If you’re taking a long-haul flight, always pack a portable battery. Some airlines do provide a conveniently placed USB slot in the seat-back, but don’t rely on them; they often don’t work. Belkin’s Travel RockStar battery, battery and surge protector is great if you’re travelling around the US, but as usual with travel-centric batteries, it prioritizes design over capacity; its 3,000mAh is only good for one recharge of a phone.

Better to go with something much bigger, such as the pocket-sized Patriot Fuel+, at 9000mAh, or the TechLink Recharge 1200, at 1,200mAh. The latter comes with a built-in phone stand and a built-in Apple Lightning or micro USB cables.

Productivity apps

If you’re used to working on a tablet, switching to a phone on the same OS won’t be much of an issue; just sync the same mobile office suite apps you use for working to your phone, like Microsoft’s Word, Excel and Powerpoint, and Apple’s Pages suite.

However, if you’re only going to be writing (and a long flight is the planet’s best place for that), consider using cross-platform note-taking apps like Evernote or SimpleNote, or no-frills writing apps like Elements or FioWriter.

For those who need to refer to online reports, articles and web pages while away from Wi-Fi or a data connection, the Pocket app is a must; if you add stuff to it while you’re in the departures lounge, then as long as you don’t forget to launch the app to sync it before you take-off the entire archive will be available to read offline.

Smartphone props and stands

Propping up a phone on a fold-out tray table isn’t easy, especially if there’s a gap at the back of the table, as on most long-haul flights. Some portable keyboards do have built-in props, but a highly portable and very cheap design is something like the TOOGOO or E-Goal foldable holder, or Rheme grip, all of which can go in a top pocket.

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Bulkier options include a Ugreen stand, the Qingsun flexible arm and – a great choice for photographers – a basic tripod with a detachable phone holder (some airlines ban tripods, but small ones are usually okay and The AirHook.

Or you could just get a phone with a built-in prop-stand. If you want to leave nothing to chance and also travel light, the PEMOTech Power Bank Battery Charger Case for iPhone 6, 6s and 7 is a 3,200mAh battery case (good for one full recharge of an empty iPhone) with a built-in prop stand.

Noise-cancelling headphones and earphones

If you travel a lot and you’re serious about working or, for that matter, reading, sleeping or listening to music/watching video, noise-cancelling earphones or headphones are well worth the money, not just for blocking out the 80 decibels in the cabin, but also for preventing the incessant announcements in multiple languages about nothing in particular.

All varieties come with built-in mics that monitor ambient noise and then create sound waves to cancel-out the low frequencies, but there’s a wide range to choose from, from powerful, increasingly wireless, yet bulky over-ear models from the likes of SonyPhilips and Plantronics to in-ears like the Bose QuietControl 30, or the same brand’s travel-friendlier (though older) QuietComfort 20i.

Over-ear headphones are best for music, while in-ear models are better for portability. Oh, and don’t sit by the wings – that’s where the engines are. Head for the seats in the front of the Economy cabin if you want the fewest decibels at your desk.

Related product: Samsung Galaxy S7

Our Verdict:

Samsung has tweaked the winning design from the S6, righted the wrongs of its previous flagships, and made a phone you don’t want to put down. The Samsung Galaxy S7 is iterative perfection.

FOR

  • Improved, waterproof design
  • Fantastic screen and power
  • Superb camera

AGAINST

  • High price
  • Only 32GB internal space
  • Fingerprint magnet
£23.49

/mth

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